Milk Bar founder and MasterChef Jr. co-host Christina Tosi brings her new Bake Squad to Netflix today. The idea behind the show is that a client will present the squad with a challenge and then the four members of the squad will battle it out to see whose dessert idea will be chosen for someone’s big day, be it a birthday, a wedding, or a party to celebrate beating cancer.
The squad consists of Maya-Camille Broussard, Ashley Holt, Gonzo Jimenez, and Christophe Rull, who were all handpicked by Tosi to help make someone’s dessert dreams come true.
“In Gonzo, you arguably have the world’s greatest chocolatier in the mix,” Tosi tells Monsters & Critics in this exclusive interview. “Maya is flavor royalty. How this woman makes flavors come to life will make you weak at the knees through pies, baked goods, and beyond. Ashley Holt is the indisputable queen of cakes. She’s someone that can imagine a story through layers of fillings, frostings and fondant, and décor. And then, of course, Christophe Rull is the technician of sugar, of patisserie.”
Tosi’s favorite shows to watch are ones that feel like they fill her gas tank from creativity, inspiration, imagination, and heart and soul, and that is how she sees Bake Squad.
She says, “That’s what anything in life worth living, or being a part of, or building and growing is about.”
Tosi also spoke to M&C about the ingredients that went into her decision to take on the show as well as those needed to become one of her squad of superhero bakers.
Monsters & Critics: What was it about the nature of this particular show that made you want to host it?
Christina Tosi: I’m a baker, so I think about the ingredients always when I’m thinking about the recipe to say yes. For me, I keep it that simple: Think about the ingredients. For me, it’s the same ingredients for everything that I’m most proud of that I’ve done in life. One is what gets me up and gets me excited about the day? And that includes building Milk Bar and continuing to build it into what it is and Bake Squad.
The thing about that is it’s the same ingredient list. It is about showing up: showing up for yourself, showing up for people, it’s about showing up with your whole heart with the utmost honesty with the opportunity to bring your honest self, your individuality, your creativity, and your compassion.
It’s about the stickiness, the greediness, and the honesty of giving it your all, and usually doing that out loud is the challenge in and of itself. Giving it your best and, above all else, bringing it full circle. You’re showing up for yourself but really you’re doing it to show up for other people. Leave this place better than you found it on a day, on an episode, on a challenge, and so on.
M&C: How did you pick the squad?
Christina Tosi: I knew that it needed to be four bakers. This show is about the spirit and the superpowers of a baked good, but I also knew that it would take superheroes to really harness the superpowers of a baked good. I knew that every single one of these superheroes had to check my ingredient box.
M&C: So, what were the ingredients that went into finding your superhero bakers?
Christina Tosi: Do they show up with compassion, with imagination, with creativity, with humility, and humanity, and so on? Then in my mind, when I thought about the wild, wonderful world, the infinite possibility of dessert, I tried to segment it into bakers that were great in their given fields, that would bring their subject matter expertise within dessert to the table, but that would also be honest and open and over-achieving enough to push themselves beyond their comfort zones, as well.
The way in which they see a moment in time and an opportunity to show up for someone is both the same from a heartbeat but entirely different in each of its individual dynamics and that was really important to me. I can’t imagine the squad being anything but these four incredible humans and incredible bakers.
It seems to me the winning squad member is actually punished, because if they win they have to make the dessert all over again – and some of them took all day to make the first time.
Christina Tosi: That is the wax on, wax off. You think you’re done, you don’t know, and then someone’s like, “Great, now do it again, do it even bigger, and do it like you mean it.” It’s the agony and ecstasy of it, but anything in life worth doing is just that.
Bake Squad began streaming on Netflix today.